Friday, October 18, 2013

local hangout

Flying into Manila, I had a driver waiting to drop me off at the hotel my friends were staying in. They whisked me into the room to drop off my luggage and freshen up. Then we were off, to the hottest spot in all the city: the mall.

Malls are a big thing in the Philippines. They say it's a refuge from the heat. But whatever it is, it's love. In every city, on every island, the locals urge you to go to the mall. Because theirs is the best, they'll explain.

Entering the Mall of Asia, proclaimed the largest in all the continent (although I've seen seemingly greater), our bags were checked. Every entrance of every mall is the same. Though they're not the most diligent of security checkers. Some entrances also have added metal detectors.

The security is due to terrorist threats, I was informed. What better location to target a large number of people than a location where a large number of people enjoy spending their time.

A few short days later, a mall we were supposed to be housed near in Mindanao was targeted. Nine people died. The terrorists were angry with a former political leader who was reportedly near the mall and wanted him dead.

Political leaders are heavy targets in the country. Those who run for office do so for the wealth a local whispered to me, as his family is connected with politics. But it comes with a fatal risk to the individual running and their family.

Call me a risk taker though, since I ended up frequenting the mall in every city I entered. Thankfully I'm far removed from all things political. 

1 comment:

Patti said...

You risk taker, you. Who knew going to a mall could be so dangerous?